Tabletop Review: Warhammer 40,000 Dataslate: Kranon’s Hellguard (Dark Vengeance)

Warhammer 40,000 Dataslate: Kranon’s Hellguard (Dark Vengeance)
Publisher: Games Workshop
Cost: $2.99
Page Count: 22
Release Date: 12/4/2014
Get it Here: The Black Library

Currently on the Black Library website, Games Workshop is doing an Advent calendar of sorts. Each day from December First until Christmas will have both a digital release for one of their games as well as a piece of Black Library fiction for Warhammer 40,000. Unfortunately as we will see with today’s release, these piece are too short for the price tag attached to them.

December 4th’s release was a Dataslate for the Crimson Slaughter army. This is the Chaos Space Marines faction you will find in your Dark Vengeance boxset. What is a Dataslate exactly? Well, it’s a quick piece of mechanics. In fact, it’s only half a page of content. Yes, you’re spending $2.99 for a half page of content. Insane. Essentially if you combine your Dark Vengeance army with the Chaos Space Marines expansion pack (Giving you a Chaos Land Raider, five more cultists, some Chaos Terminators and a unit of Raptors), you get to use this special dataslate with them. In other worse, you are rewarded for sticking to a pre-sdesigned army instead of creating your own. Of course Dark Vengeance is a couple of years old now and the expansion just came out this year, so one can hardly be blamed for having bought items OTHER than in the expansion to beef up the Crimson Slaughter. In my case I purchased a Sorcerer, Heldrake, a unit Warp Talons and Forgefiend. So I wouldn’t be able to use this Dataslate unless I bought the expansion and removed my five “newer” pieces from the game. Yeesh.

So what do you get for fielding the Crimson Slaughter and its expansion? Well you get Fear and Stubborn for your entire army, which is nice…except you’re probably going to be facing the Dark Angels army that also came with the Crimson Slaughter in Dark Vengeance, meaning these abilities aren’t going to be that helpful. Against something like Orcs or the like, these abilities can come in handy but this isn’t the best help against an army that knows no fear, you know?

You also get the “Swarm of Phantasms” ability. Enemy units that are 12″ or closer to a unit of the Crimson Slaughter lose 1 from their Leadership rating. Enemy Units that are 12″ or close to two or more units in the Crimson Slaughter lose 1 from their Ballistic Score. This is pretty decent in terms of a small bonus for your army, but the usefulness will vary. Against Tyranids, one might find this bonus a bit lacking.

So for $2.99 you get a cover page, a page of art, a page and a half of story talking about what happens after the Dark Vengeance boxed set and/or the terrible novelization of the game, a half page formation rule for those that buy Dark Vengeance and the Crimson Slaughter Expansion and that’s it. The next fifteen pages are a waste of space. Each one has a single painted miniature on it with the name of the model. That’s it. The model only takes up half the page leaving a LOT of white space. Then you get an ad for the Games Workshop website and then two pages of legal mumbo jumbo. That is the ENTIRE Dataslate. What a terrible way to milk a few bucks from your audience.

In other words, don’t waste your money on this or the Dark Angels version that came out on 12/1 (The Unrelenting Hunt). I’ve just given you the rules for the Crimson Slaughter formation in this Dataslate and everything else is just a waste of time and space, so just bookmark this and use the rules given here instead of spending $2.99 on something that has little to no value to the vast majority of Warhammer 40K fans.

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